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Florida Panthers beat Washington Capitals 6-5 for first shootout win of year

Florida was 0-7 in shootouts and 1-13 when extended beyond regulation, but all that changed Tuesday night. Jozef Stumpel and Ville Peltonen scored in the extra session to back a three-goal effort by Olli Jokinen, and the Panthers salvaged a 6-5 victory.

"It was a long day. I think for us the key is to get the two points," Florida coach Jacques Martin said.

In its first seven shootouts, Florida scored only four goals in 29 shots. On this night, the Panthers were 2-for-3.

After backup goaltender Frederic Cassivi blocked a shot by Jokinen to start the shootout, Washington's Alexander Semin was stopped by Ed Belfour. Stumpel then scored, and Alex Ovechkin missed before Peltonen clinched it.

"It was a good feeling," Peltonen said. "I've tried that move before and missed open nets before. Now it went in and we got the win, so it was a good feeling."

Ovechkin had two goals and two assists for the Capitals, who have lost seven of eight. Washington is 1-9 in shootouts this season.

"We got behind and I'm proud of the way our guys came back. At the end, it was a pretty entertaining hockey game," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "Both teams had lot of chances."

The Capitals and Panthers sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings and have only a mathematical chance of reaching the post-season. With that in mind, both teams dealt skilled players to contenders Tuesday afternoon before the trading deadline.

Florida unloaded Todd Bertuzzi (to Detroit) and Gary Roberts (to Pittsburgh). Washington sent Dainus Zubrus to Buffalo and Jamie Heward to Los Angeles.

"I still think we have a great team," Ovechkin said. "It doesn't matter who we lost or who comes here."

Hours after the deadline passed, those left on each depleted roster began the task of playing out the schedule. They staged an entertaining performance that belied their stature as the two lowest-scoring teams in the Southeast Division.

"Most of the goals were gave them were by mistake," Jokinen said. "The positive thing is were able to score a lot."

It was the fourth career hat trick and third this season for Jokinen, who leads the Panthers with 28 goals. Two of his goals came in the first period, when Florida scored four times against goaltender Brent Johnson.

"It's nice to score goals," Jokinen said, "but the bottom line right now is to get points in the standings."

Down 3-0 after eight minutes, Washington closed to 4-3 after the first period. It was 5-3 before Ovechkin scored late in the second period, and a power-play goal by Brooks Laich tied it with 13:53 left in regulation.

In overtime, a shot by Jokinen hit the left post. That set up the shootout, and for once, it worked out fine for the Panthers.

Juraj Kolnik started the scoring for Florida with a slap shot at 1:46. Jokinen then converted a cross-ice pass from Rostislav Olesz at 7:39, and Stephen Weiss scored 20 seconds later for a 3-0 lead.

Goals by Ovechkin and Brian Sutherby got Washington to 3-2, but Jokinen made it 4-2 at 17:45. A power-play goal by Kris Beech at 19:04 concluded the scoring in a wild first period.

Jokinen put the Panthers up 5-3 against Cassivi, seeing his first action since Nov. 11, 2005.

Notes: Washington has dropped four in a row to Florida this season by a combined score of 23-12. ... Two of the Panthers' eight road wins are in Washington. ... Capitals G Olie Kolzig is expected to miss two more weeks with a knee injury.



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